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#CheninOccasion – Cake, Book Club and Chenin Blanc



Book Clubs are such clever inventions! Not only do they force us to take some time for ourselves, they also get us to  read and to get together with friends – according to us, the most basic of human rights! Having a good glass of wine at the same time does not hurt, of course. Neither does having a slice of cake…

Celebrating Chenin Blanc’s amazing ability to fit into and enhance any occasion, we introduce the glorious combination of Quarnita Loxton’s recently published novel, Being Lily, a moist, moreish and ever-so-trendy Coconut cake and yes, our 2018 Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc – the best one in the country according to the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards!

Treat yourself to what should have been bottom-tier in Maslow’s hierarchy! Invite your besties (or those you want to become your besties…), bake (or commission) the recipe below and open a bottle (or more) of a well-chilled 2018 Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc (available from leading supermarkets, online or from our Franschhoek address).

It seems reaching fulfilment in life is easier than we thought…

Coconut Cake Recipe

Click here for video instructions!

Ingredients

340 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pans

2 cups sugar

5 extra large eggs, at room temperature

1½ teaspoon vanilla essence

1½ teaspoon almond essence

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pans

1 teaspoon baking-powder

½ teaspoon baking-soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut milk

115 g desiccated coconut

For the icing

500 g cream cheese, at room temperature

225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ teaspoon vanilla essence

¼ teaspoon almond essence

500 g icing-sugar, sifted

170 g sweetened shredded coconut

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease 2 x 23 cm round cake-pans, line with parchment paper, grease again and dust lightly with flour.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer at medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond essence and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking-powder, baking-soda and salt. With the mixer at low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in three parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in 115 g of the desiccated coconut with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter evenly into the two pans and smooth the tops with a knife. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking-rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking-rack to cool completely.

For the icing, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond essence at low speed. Add the icing-sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip).

To assemble, place one layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with icing. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and ice the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature. And forget all about tea, this cake is beautifully complemented by the 2018 Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc.

 

 

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